One of the first recipes I got stuck on when I discovered my passion for baking many years ago was a cheesecake brownie. I couldn't get enough. Two of the most delicious and decadent things mashed into one bite.
I still love this combo to this day and today I took it to the extreme in terms of fudginess. This is practically candy.
This tastes very much like "straciatella" gelato... Italy's version of chocolate chip! The difference is it's finely chopped dark chocolate as opposed to sweet chocolate chips. They melt more easily into the batter and make lovely little flecks of chocolate throughout!
It's chocolate everything in Christina's world right now (and always) since I'm wrapping up recipes for a second cookbook dedicated to everything chocolatey and sweet and salty.
It starts with a dang good brownie recipe. Cocoa flavour comes in two hits - dark melty chocolate and cocoa powder. Melt them together with butter to kick things off.
Then we need to build that shiny crust and that comes from dissolved sugar. Whisk the sugar in a bowl with one whole egg and one egg white until well blended and lightened by a shade.
This recipe is truly efficient because we'll save the yolk for the cheesecake mixture. Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and then stir in the flour.
For the cheesecake we beat cream cheese with sugar until all smooth and glossy and then stir in the reserved yolk and vanilla. You can do this all by hand with a bowl and a spatula. Mixing the sugar first with the cheese prevents lumps in your batter. Sugar crystals are abrasive and help smooth out the cheese, but they also pull out the moisture which helps to make it fluid. Beating eggs into soft cheese before adding the sugar will make a lumpy cheesecake. Believe that.
A bit of yogurt lightens up the mixture and adds some tart to all that sweet. Stir in chocolate chips or, as I like to do, some finely chopped dark chocolate.
Layer the two batters into the wells of a greased muffin pan and bake until the top is shiny and the cream cheese mixture is just set.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownie Cups
For the brownie batter:
- 4 ½ oz 125g dark chocolate 60% cocoa, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup 75g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon 12g unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 large egg white reserve the yolk for the cheesecake
- ¾ cup 150g granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon 60g all-purpose flour
For the cheesecake swirl:
- 7 oz 200g brick cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk reserved from brownie batter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 2 oz 56g bittersweet chocolate 70% cocoa, finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
- To make the brownie batter, melt together chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot with ½-inch of barely simmering water or in the microwave. Stir in cocoa powder and salt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together whole egg, egg white and sugar until thickened and pale. Whisk in melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle flour over batter and stir it in gently until you can no longer see it.
- To make the cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Beat in sugar until glossy and then whisk in egg yolk and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Stir through yogurt and chocolate chips. Spoon about one tablespoon of brownie batter into each muffin hold. Divide cheesecake mixture among each muffin hole over the brownie batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake mixture, dividing it equally (no need to spread it out).
- Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes. Let brownies cool completely in the pan before and then refrigerate for 1 hour before running a knife around the edges and removing from pan.